It is the result of a study conducted byUCBM and by the University of Teramo, in collaboration with the University of Camerino and with the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm

That extra virgin olive oil was an important food for reducing the incidence of numerous neoplasms had been suggested in recent years by various experimental researches. However, the mechanisms underlying this 'beneficial' action of the ancient derivative of pressing olives, the protagonist of the diet of Mediterranean peoples for more than 60 centuries, were not yet clear. A study conducted by the Prof. Mauro Maccarrone, professor of Biochemistry at theUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, And from Dr. Claudio D'Addario, researcher in Molecular Biology at the University of Teramo, has now revealed the mechanism by which the so-called 'yellow gold' reduces the risk of developing colon cancer. The research, just published in the international journal Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, shows how extra virgin olive oil is able to increase the expression of the CNR1 tumor suppressor gene. The latter, in turn, expresses a very important receptor for the health of our body, because it is able to regulate the mechanisms at the origin of the alterations of genes sensitive to environmental factors, such as diet.

The data obtained by the researchers therefore certify that adequate quantities of extra virgin olive oil in the diet, possibly enriched with other 'nutraceuticals', or foods with particular beneficial properties, are important for reducing genetic alterations linked to dietary habits. "our studio – underlines Prof. Maccarrone – reinforces confidence that an appropriate diet can help prevent cancer, but also other widespread diseases, such as neurological disorders, obesity and diabetes. The findings also have profound implications for the design of future studies. In fact, they demonstrate that epigenetic changes, i.e. those deriving from environmental factors and, therefore, from nutrition, are potentially reversible".

A result which, especially in Western countries, should lead to 'dusting off' the typical foods of the Mediterranean diet at the table. A 'natural' weapon capable of reducing the incidence of cancer, especially colorectal cancer, which ranks second after breast cancer in women and third after lung and prostate cancer in men . A neoplasm that in Italy, according to estimates by the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), affects about 40 women and 70 men every year.